HomePosts Tagged "Catherine Keener"

Catherine Keener Tag

ES POSTERIn a world where men still dominate domestic filmmaking, and women are (wrongly) thought by some to be unfunny, it’s a pleasure to report on not one but two fine comedies written and directed by women. I finally caught up with In a World…, actress Lake Bell’s filmmaking debut, and I’m happy to say “finally,” as most independent movies flop around big city arthouses for a week or two before disappearing into the maw of VOD. Her gem, set in the milieu of voiceover work (a field I have a little experience in) and graced with meaty, faceted characterizations that would delight Robert Altman, has staying power, and I’m pleased to talk it up.

Nicole Holofcener has been at this for almost twenty years, and with Enough Said has delivered her

If you are a woman, the relationship you have with your best girlfriends is special. It’s different than any you have with your parents, siblings, romantic partners or even other friends. Your best girlfriend almost always knows you better than anyone else. You trust her with your secrets and you know that she is someone you can turn to no matter what. She’s someone who will listen to your problems and be honest with you, even it if it hurts.

A best girlfriend will be there to console you when you get dumped at 1 A.M. by that asshole you’ve been sleeping with who’s been stringing you along for months. And even though she insisted you could do better and you should stop seeing him a long time ago, but you didn’t listen to her, she’ll take you to an all-night diner and buy you pancakes and coffee and let you cry and bitch and moan without judging you or telling you she told you so.

A true best friend will go shopping with you and tell you when a dress you’ve chosen is totally fug and will help you pick out clothes that hide your fat rolls and make your boobs and ass look amazing. She will talk you out of buying those boots you love that cost almost as much as your rent because she knows you can’t afford them and she doesn’t want you selling any of your other possessions to make ends meet — or asking her for money that she doesn’t have but wouldn’t refuse you.

A BFF will gladly judge horrible skanks that your ex is now sleeping with, but will stop you from making an ass out of yourself when you drunkenly decide to approach the bitch and tell her what you think of her. She won’t judge you when you show up to brunch with greasy bangs and mascara smudged under your eyes, wearing the same clothes you had on the night before.

She will talk to you on the phone for hours about nothing in particular, but won’t be offended if you don’t call her for two weeks. She will organize your wedding and/or baby shower, even if she hates weddings and babies. She will throw you a surprise party when you think everyone has forgotten your birthday. And if something unfortunate happens, like a death in the family or a bout of depression, she will be there with a fresh box of tissues, your favorite ice cream and many, many hugs.

She will tell you when you’re being a bitch and will expect you to do the same for her. And she will always remind you that, no matter what happens,  you’re awesome and fuck anyone who doesn’t think so.

Wow. That all sounded like one of those awful “In honor of women” forwards your crazy aunt who barely knows how to use her Hotmail account sends you every other week, doesn’t it? Well, whatever. I love my friends and I’m lucky to have such fierce ladies in my life.

Inspired by a recent viewing of one of my favorite films, Walking and Talking, and the success of the hit female buddy comedy Bridesmaids (which I still haven’t seen because I’m terrible), I thought I’d revisit some of my favorite female BFFs in film. Whether they’re laughing, crying, talking about sex or plotting murder, these ladies all share a strong bond that (for the most part) can’t be broken. And that’s why I love them.

My list was originally a lot longer than this, but then I noticed that several of the ladies I had listed were BFFs who happened to also be co-workers, so I decided they’d become their own Filminism post later on.

Who are your favorite female friendships in film? Tell me in the comments!

Warning: some of the clips below might be a little spoilery.

Cyrus (20th Century Fox, 2010)

Jonah Hill and John C. Reilly co-starring in a film — it’s gotta be a raunchy, Apatow-style comedy, right? You’d think so, but as Cyrus makes clear, that isn’t always the case. This big(ger) budget coming-out party for writer/directors Mark and Jay Duplass (Baghead, The Puffy Chair) eschews easy laughs in favor of a love story of sorts — albeit one that follows the same bittersweet beats as real life.

Synopsis: Cyrus stars John C. Reilly as John, a middle-aged lonely divorced guy who, as the film opens, gets dragged to a party by his remarried ex-wife (Catherine Keener) — who remains his best friend. After a few clumsy, drunken passes at a variety of women, John encounters Molly (Marisa Tomei), an attractive single-mom who finds John’s social awkwardness appealing.

They hit it off, and quickly begin a tender new relationship. Problems soon arise in the form of Cyrus (Jonah Hill), Molly’s twentysomething son, who has an off-puttingly close relationship to his mom. Soon the jealous Cyrus sets about trying to break them up, and John must figure out how to deal with this unhinged and unexpected rival.

If you’re in a New York State of mind and looking for something other than a classic Woody Allen or Scorsese flick, let me recommend these two new, wonderful independent films recently released on DVD.

(Untitled) is an offbeat romantic comedy starring Adam Goldberg, the man with the best scowl this side of Paul Giamatti. The film, written by Jonathan Parker and Catherine Di Napoli and directed by Parker, delves into the world of avant-garde art and music, daring to ask the question “what is art?” At the same time, the film explores the human heart and allows Goldberg, a character actor whose best films always seem to have him be the angry mope, to show his softer side as the romantic lead.

Goldberg is Adrian, an avant-garde composer/ sound artist whose concerts usually draw two people, not including his parents. Of course, his folks feel obligated to be there, but even they have a hard time sitting through an entire performance. Adrian’s compositions are so far out there that to the average music fan, it sounds mostly like noise. The composer pounds on the piano, while a cute saxophonist wails away, squeaking her horn, and a percussionist randomly hit drums, trash can lids and kicks buckets.

One evening, Adrian’s brother, Josh (Eion Bailey), brings a date to one of these performances. Josh is a painter, a successful artist. However, the type of paintings he creates are the kind you see hanging in hotels and hospitals. They are pretty and profitable, but most critics don’t consider it art. Josh is content with this, as long as the money is coming in. He brings with him to the concert a smart, beautiful gallery owner named, Madeleine, played by the lovely Marley Shelton. Madeleine displays the weirdest shit you’ve ever seen, which makes Goldberg’s music the perfect soundtrack to one of her exhibits.